Geneva preview: Audi A1

February 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

Let’s start with A for Audi. The  A1’s the smallest Audi since the 50 (1974; precursor to the Volkswagen Polo) and short-lived A2, and Ingolstadt’s effort to entice down-sizers.

Initial engine options for the UK are 1.2- and 1.4-litre TFSI petrol units – direct-injection, turbocharged – and the familiar 105PS 1.6 TDI diesel. Both the petrols come with stop-start and ‘energy recuperation systems’ – probably regenerative braking, though no more official details as yet – and are said to return 55.4mpg; carbon dioxide emissions are a tax-friendly 119g/km. The diesel’ll do an excellent 72.4mpg and emit just 102g/km.

The A1’s three-door only, and will be positioned to go up against the Mini – starting price is a  hefty £13,000. Order books open late May, UK deliveries towards the end of the year, and this baby is also set to go global. A hybrid-drive powertrain – as in the earlier metroproject/project quattro concepts – could follow, though for now, fuel economy’s looking promising from these versions with stop-start. Expect this technology to spread throughout the VW Group, though it might take a while to filter through to Skoda and Seat.

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